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MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Minnesota United FC

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Sporting KC v Minnesota United: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

The #roaddron will be in full effect for the nationally broadcast, midweek, ‘rivalry’ game.

David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ Minnesota United

When: Wednesday, July 12th, 2022 at 7:00 PM CT (Kickoff 7:08)

Where: Allianz Field

How to Watch/Stream: ESPN | ESPN Deportes
How to Listen: La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

It’s rivalry week in Major League Soccer, so of course Minnesota United FC is on the schedule for Sporting Kansas City. While it’s not a true rivalry, or “the nicest rivalry in sports,” but it’s inching closing in that direction after some contentious games in 2021. Most notably when Bakaye Dibassy tried to decapitate Alan Pulido last year. Well he’s still hurt, so that won’t be an issue this year.

Sporting KC enter this midweek matchup having coming off a spectacular road win against CF Montreal in the first of three road games that will take the team coast to coast this week. Saturday’s win was an unrepeatable formula for victory, so SKC will likely need to find another way to keep clawing up the table. Technically they are out of last place, level on points with the San Jose Earthquakes, but the Quakes have two games in hand.

Minnesota on the other hand are in sixth place, a spot above the seventh and final playoff spot. They’ve played one less game than Sporting but have eight more points. Their 8-8-3 record isn’t great, but it’s better than Sporting’s league worst 11 losses. Simply being .500 usually gets you in the playoffs as long as too many of your games aren’t draws. KC are currently six games below that .500 mark.

Kansas City can’t afford many more losses as they need to more than double their points total in the last 14 games to even sniff the playoffs.

Minnesota’s Recent Form

After three straight league losses (and a loss to Union Omaha in the US Open Cup), Minnesota appear to be getting things sorted with three straight wins. With them being in the heart of a playoff race, this is a very important matchup for them.

What’s new for the Minnesota in 2022?

With this being the first meeting of the season, I’ll let my colleague David Greenwald do the heavy lifting on the roster changes Minnesota made before 2022. Here is his preseason preview. Below are the changes since that preview on February 17th.

IN: Minnesota made a permanent move to acquire Luis Amarilla via transfer from Vélez Sarsfield (Argentina). They also traded the New York Red Bulls for Kemar Lawrence to bolster their fullback spot (for almost no compensation). The only other moves were signing Tani Oluwaseyi who they drafted and Homegrown defender Devin Padelford.

OUT: With the addition of Lawrence, fullback Chase Gaspar became expendable and was sent to the LA Galaxy for $450,000 in GAM with another $300,000 in incentives available. They also sent away failed forward signing Adrien Hunou to Angers (France) via transfer.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Erik Thommy (pending immigration), William Agada (pending immigration), Roger Espinoza (yellow card accumulation)

QUESTIONABLE - Graham Zusi (quad), Tim Melia (shoulder), Kortne Ford (concussion)

*This has been updated based on the official injury report.

Minnesota

OUT - Kervin Arriaga (ankle), Hassani Dotson (knee - SEI list), Niko Hansen (thigh), Patrick Weah (knee), Romain Métanire (thigh), T. Oluwaseyi (thigh)

QUESTIONABLE - None

Discipline Watch for Sporting KC

Suspended Next Yellow Card: Kortne Ford, Johnny Russell, Andreu Fontas, Uri Rosell

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Johnny Russell (5), Daniel Salloi (4), Remi Walter (3), Roger Espinoza (2), Marinos Tzionis, Felipe Hernandez, Graham Zusi (1)

Assists: Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke (3), Daniel Salloi, Ben Sweat, Uri Rosell, Roger Espinoza, Remi Walter, Khiry Shelton (1)

Montreal

Goals: Emanuel Reynoso (7), Robin Lod (6), Luis Amarillo (5), Franco Fragapane (2), six with one (1)

Assists: Bongokuhle Hlongwane, Reynosos (3), Hasani Dotson, Lod, DJ Taylor (2), five with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will get it’s own story. Look for it closer to game day (hopefully, I’m travelling right now).

Predictions

These teams were 1-1-1 against each other in 2021, but that was a very different season. Their all-time series lead against Minnesota (8-6-3) is in jeopardy with Sporting facing the Loons two times in 2022 when they are having a very down year.

But Minnesota could be the opponent Khiry Shelton is looking for. He’s actually scored four times (and added one assist) in his seven meetings against Minnesota. Maybe knowing that is just the boost of confidence Khiry needs heading into the mid-week game. He hadn’t scored or assisted all year in regular season play, but his pass to Remi Walter last week took care of the assist column, now it’s just time to get a goal.

That said, Sporting have six of their eight wins against Minnesota at Children’s Mercy Park. They have struggled on the road and nothing about 2022 should make us think anything different will happen in this game. Prove me wrong, please!

1-0 Minnesota Win

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